Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Börje Salming Has Passed Away

11/24/2022 at 12:59pm EST

via the Toronto Maple Leafs,

On behalf of the Salming family, it's with great sadness that the Toronto Maple Leafs announce the passing of franchise icon Börje Salming. He was 71.

Statement from Maple Leafs President and Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan:

"The Toronto Maple Leafs mourn the loss of Börje Salming. Börje was a pioneer of the game and an icon with an unbreakable spirit and unquestioned toughness. He helped open the door for Europeans in the NHL and defined himself through his play on the ice and through his contributions to the community.
Börje joined the Maple Leafs 50 years ago and will forever be a part of our hockey family. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Pia, his children Theresa, Anders, Rasmus, Bianca, Lisa and Sara and brother Stieg.."

Salming's Maple Leafs career began when he signed as a free agent prior to the 1973-74 season. Over the course of 16 seasons and 1,099 regular season games in blue and white, he would go on to establish a team record for most assists (620) while registering the most goals (148), points (768) and playoff points (49) by a defenceman in franchise history. His #21 hangs in the rafters at Scotiabank Arena as one of 19 players to have their number retired by the Maple Leafs.

A two-time runner-up for the Norris Trophy, Salming was named to the NHL's First All-Star team in 1976-77 and the Second All-Star team on five occasions. In 1996, he became the first Swedish player inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and was honoured as one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in 2017.

On the international stage, Salming represented Sweden at four IIHF World Championships, three Canada Cups and the 1992 Winter Olympics. He was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1998 and, in 2008, was recognized as part of the IIHF's Centennial All-Star Team, featuring the six most successful players in the history of international ice hockey as voted by an expert panel.


NEW YORK (Nov. 24, 2022) – National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman issued the following statement on the passing of NHL legend Borje Salming:

“A superior all-around defenseman and the first Swedish star ever to play in the League, Borje Salming was as physically and mentally tough as he was skillfully gifted. He blazed the trail that many of the greatest players in NHL history followed while shattering all of the stereotypes about European players that had been prevalent in a League populated almost entirely by North Americans before his arrival in 1973.

“Salming owns nearly every franchise record for Maple Leafs defensemen – including, goals (148), assists (620) and points (768) – and was voted to the NHL’s First or Second postseason All-Star Teams six consecutive seasons. He was named one of the top 10 players in Leafs history in 2016. Soon after, he was selected one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players during the League’s Centennial celebration. In 1996, he became the first European-trained skater inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

“The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Borje, a towering presence and transformational figure in the game’s history. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Pia; his children, Theresa, Anders, Rasmus, Bianca, Lisa and Sara; all who marveled at his exploits and the many NHL Players who stand on his shoulders.”


So many games at the Olympia Stadium marveling at how good Salming was.
My sincere condolences to the entire Salming family. May you rest in peace.


Such a great d man I was privileged to watch on hockey night in Canada so many years ago. RIP. Your earthly suffering is over. 


Thoughts to his family, should they see this. By all accounts a good guy as well as a great player. 

Mr. Fnytelhatt

I am a bit startled by the rapid progression of his disease, didn't expect this so soon. So it goes. But what a towering career and legacy. And what a very good thing indeed his farewell tour was. Godspeed Börje, and thanks.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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